There is an old adage that there are only two certainties in life: death and taxes. Having been in sales for years, I’ve added “newly enhanced annual sales goals” as the third. To get to that higher level of sales this year, an office equipment sales rep, or really any salesperson, can focus resolve to drive more sales, know product features better, or increase cold call efforts. While these are all noble pursuits, they concentrate less on quality and more on quantity.
Take a look at these 5 opportunities to be more impactful and drive quality in your “New Year” sales approach.
1. Go for the conversation, not the voicemail
It is common to judge yourself only on the quantity of cold calls you are achieving. If you are leaving the same voicemail for the same person every week and getting no call backs, it is time to find someone who is ready to buy. Switch up your strategy and find other individuals that will value your service or product and will help navigate you to the decision maker.
2. Follow-up with value and follow-through on actions
When you finally do have a conversation and have action items to focus on, take the initiative to get the relevant information to your potential customer quickly. Your work is not over; continue to follow through with valuable knowledge to help them on their decision to move forward. Yes this means that you can no longer just, "Touch Base" or "Check-in", that is where sales go to die. Be meaningful in follow-up and valuable in your follow-through.
3. Sell the experience and not the product
When was the last time you checked to see what type of wheels Space Mountain at Disney World had? The quicker you can learn that people buy experiences and great service first, the sooner you will understand that your product is just the gateway to your organization’s service. Incorporate your customer service and experience in the sales process. Help your customers understand how they will be treated on the back-end of the sale by walking them through the experience in your sales process. It should be clean, clear and easy.
4. Be authentic and relevant
Remember that last LinkedIn invite you received, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” How special did that invite make you feel? Customers need to feel like they are your only customer. The canned email that was sent to 100 other prospects, the thank you note that auto-populated their name, and that LinkedIn message that required no research just doesn’t cut it anymore. Yes, it is more work to research individual prospects profiles and review the last 10 tweets from their twitter account. It is the only way to set you apart from the crowd and be authentic and relevant in this age of information overload.
5. Be prepared
The Boy Scouts knew this best. They were always prepared. Effective pre-meeting plans (that outline of what you know and what you need to know) can help you stick to agenda items and objectives of the call. Leaving the appointment without answering the questions of, “So what” and “What’s next”, means that you just had a nice conversation with no mutual agreed upon actions going forward.
Quality is the engine that drives customer engagement. Customers will value the quality of your sales approach in 2017 more than they ever have. And with a higher quality sales approach, you will gain greater certainty in achieving your newly enhanced annual sales goal!
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